Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Summer School Cool in Red: Dress Review

    Our vacation's not over; in fact we've barely started, but I couldn't resist doing a quick review of this dress.  Shirt dresses are a fabulous thing, and worth talking about. 
    Sometimes I get on a shopping kick and become super focused on one item or color.  Before I realize it, everything in my wardrobe is blue or I suddenly have nothing but sweaters in my closet.  It probably has something to do with the delayed gratification that comes from so much internet shopping followed by waiting weeks for delivery.  
    What ever the reason, when it comes to this little shirt dress by Fervour, I'm glad I went ahead and bought more than one.  In July I posted my review of the Summer School Cool dress in Forest at ModCloth and I loved it so much that in August I bought it in red too.  
    I don't own much red, in fact the addition of this dress now brings my closet total up to a whopping three red things.  Although I would never normally go for this shade, I love how warm this red is, and I absolutely cannot wait to wear it with tights and a cardi during those bleak winter months.  In my last post I mentioned how I love to do my winter shopping in the middle of summer to nab the best bargains, so I may as well show off this great trench coat by Tulle.

Shop the Look

Cover Girl Lipstick color 307

 Summer School Cool Dress in Red

Perfume Bottle Purse in Black

With Haute a Doubt Heel in Noir

Second Hand Plaid Coat by Tulle

Monday, August 3, 2015

See You in September: ootd

    I know, I know, it's the height of summer and cooler days seem a million miles away.  But, hubby and I have decided to take some time away from the cyber world, some time just for us.  I'm not sure when I'll be back exactly, but probably after the dog days have gone.  And all this puts me in mind of fall and all her glory.  
   I love September days.  There's something sweet and sad about summer breathing her last.  The mornings are a little cooler and the sunsets are little paler and it's finally time to shake the dust off the sweaters and start layering again.  I usually don't wait that long to start my browsing.  Summer is the ideal time to buy coats and sweaters at a bargain.  
    I can always find gorgeous wool pea coats for less than $40 in July and August, but the price always goes up as the temperatures go down.  It's the same with sweaters and scarves.  I know it's hard to be roasting in the heat while simultaneously searching for the warmest sweater, but it is well worth the savings.

    And so with that, I'll leave you, my friends, to enjoy your summer and I'll see you sometime in the Fall.

Shop the Look:
Sweater is second hand and cost about $2
Jeans by I.N.C.
Purse is by Sleepyville Critters
Necklace is from ModCloth
Rings are handmade by me
Coral shoes are by Chase & Chloe

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Artist Spotlight: HawkHouse

For this week's Artist Spotlight I am pleased to showcase the work of Jessica Kramer, the creative mind behind HAWKHOUSE.  Originally from Nebraska,  "she has traveled 6 of the 7 continents of the world and gathered gems, minerals and inspiration throughout her travels.

"She lived in the Bay area, California for nearly 5 years working in metal fabrication and blacksmithing. She also worked in Event Production with the awe inspiring company Obscura Digital.

"She left California in 2012. Driving her cat and belongings to Martha’s Vineyard to waitress during the tourist filled summer season, ended up meeting the love of her life. She has rarely left the island and his side, since.

"HAWKHOUSE emerged as a creative outlet for Jessica to channel all of her artistic musings in the slow and frigid winter months on the island. Her inspirations come from nature and science and her work reflects this" 

Bleu Avenue: Jessica, thank you so much for joining me to talk about your work.  Have you always been interested in stones and/or jewelry making?

Jessica Kramer:  I grew up with a potter mother who hauled me around to arts and craft shows. By the time I was in middle school I was selling necklaces at her booth....I've always loved working with my hands and the earth separately. Now that I have HAWKHOUSE I can combine my love of the two!

B:  That is an amazing blessing to be able to do more than one thing that you really love and to have such a beautiful outcome to all that work.  What is the creative process like for you? How are you able see a stone know what the final piece will be like?

JK:  I usually make a few samples to see if my process will work with the stone, and once it's a success I make a small batch of 10-50 pieces. I'm all about production, and making more than one piece at a time allows me not only up my productivity, but reach a place where my jewelry making becomes a meditation. 

B:  Your jewelry has a very exotic feel to it and in your bio you mentioned that you've traveled the world, what are some of your most memorable experiences?
JK:  Riding motorcycles through South America, My love surprise meeting me in Spain for an unexpected trip to Morrocco. Riding 4-wheelers in the sand dunes of Abu Dhabi ending with a belly dance campfire and walking the streets of beautiful Istanbul...

 B:  Have there been times when you've been discouraged while pursuing this dream and if so, how did you overcome them?

JK:  Having a public review system is tough. Matching the right stone to the right person can be a bit nerve racking. Each stone is as unique as the person who it will adorn....making those two things mesh is an art form in itself. I just keep making my beautiful jewelry. Not taking things personally is a huge obstacle for me to overcome.

B:  I agree, that's something I've always struggled with.  As an artist, getting criticism is inevitable, but knowing that it's coming sooner or later still doesn't make it any easier to take.  I'm glad you've been able to shake it off and press on with your work.  What do you think the future has in store for HAWKHOUSE?

JK:  Gold and silver!! I keep threatening to gets samples plated, but having been so successful with copper I can barely keep up with my orders as is! I have been working really hard to get the behind the scenes of HAWKHOUSE highly functioning so I can expand my lines in the future!

B:  How exciting, I can't wait to see that!  Thank you so much for joining me.
Find Jessica's work at or follow her at Instagram @HAWKHOUSEdesigns

© Bleu Avenue. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.